Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Saujana Golf & Country Club has become the 15th member of the European Tour Properties network, becoming an official European Tour Destination.
It is only the third venue outside Europe to gain European Tour Destination status and the 11th in total.
Located about 15 kilometres outside the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, Saujana hosted the Malaysian Open in 1999, won by American Gerry Norquist, which entered the record books as the first event to be co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours.
It then hosted the tournament a further five times between 2001 and 2009, with Vijay Singh and Thongchai Jaidee among the winners, earning a reputation as one of Asia’s leading venues.
Peremba, the owners of Saujana Golf & Country Club, have promoted the Malaysian Open, through their company GlobalOne, since 2006, while they also promoted the Indonesian Open from 2006 to 2009 and the Singapore Masters in 2006 and 2007, both tournaments featuring on the European Tour International Schedule.
The brainchild of former Prime Minister YAB Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who, in 1982, initiated the creation of a government task force to set up a golf club in Kuala Lumpur to attract investors and industrialists, Saujana Golf & Country Club was cut through a former palm and rubber plantation and now has two courses – the Palm Course and Bunga Raya.
Both were originally designed by Ron Fream, and in 2009 Bunga Raya was redesigned by Ted Parslow. The two courses are endorsed by The R&A as championship courses, and the Palm Course has been voted as the sixth toughest course in the world, while Bunga Raya was voted as the 69th best course in the world outside the USA by Golf Digest USA.
The golf club is directly linked to two hotels, The Saujana Hotel Kuala Lumpur and The Club Saujana Resort which is a Small Luxury Hotels of the World. As well as the hotels, there is a spa and a selection of internationally themed restaurants.
As the 11th and newest European Tour Destination, Saujana Golf & Country Club will benefit from European Tour Properties’ focused, year-long sales, marketing and operational support, joining the 14 existing members in the European Tour Properties’ portfolio of venues, which includes facilities such as PGA Catalunya Resort in Spain, London Golf Club in England, and Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf Resort on the French Riviera.
In late 2013, Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai became the first Middle East Destination to join the network, and the expansion continued into Southeast Asia this year with the addition of Black Mountain Golf Club & Resort in Thailand.
George O’Grady, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “Our relationship with our partners Peremba and GlobalOne has been a long and fruitful one and has delivered many outstanding tournaments and winners. I would like to pay particular tribute to Tan Sri Mohd Razali Abdul Rahman who has been a true friend, partner and supporter of the European Tour over many years and can claim an important role in our international expansion.”
Tan Sri Razali, Chairman of Peremba Group, said: “We are delighted that the relationship with the European Tour is progressing to a new dimension with the Saujana Golf & Country Club and The Saujana Hotels and Resorts being associated with the European Tour Properties network.
“We are confident that this new partnership will add value to the organisations and to the sport.”